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Contradictions in the bible


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#526    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:12 AM

View Postshadowhive, on 22 February 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

i understand it seems to mean pretty much anything you want.
Then you obviously don't understand it!


View Postshadowhive, on 22 February 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

Why should he be considered in each decision? How is (for instance) what we have for breakfast a decision that we should think about god for? Why we considered god whenever we do anything?
What we have for breakfast is hardly a major decision.  But let's say you have the choice of having cereal and toast for breakfast, or you could go to a gourmet cafe and order sausages, bacon, eggs, wedges, and set yourself back $15.  If that $15 is simply for indulgence and you never given anything else to God, then it's a sin.  If you consider God when you have that breakfast and you can afford such a breakfast and still give to God what belongs to God, then it's ok.  It's a personal thing between the individual and God.  I can't judge whether someone else is using their money correctly, only God can.


View Postshadowhive, on 22 February 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

I'm not avoiding that. However, when god can't get over one mistake (regardless of how minor) and then keeps being offended by just about everything we do (which is his fault alone for having an exhaustive list of things to have a problem with) it becomes rather impossible doesn't it. While we can make it up to others, we cant make anything up to god because there's always another thought/feelign/deed that he'll hate us for, so by the time you fix one he's found five more to hold against you.

Now if there was a person and they were that critical of you, would you honestly want a relationship with them? Would it be worth the time trying to deal with every issue they raised with you?
It's the seriousness of sin.  Though I've said this several times already, so there really is no point in going over it again.


View Postshadowhive, on 22 February 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

Hmm.

I believe everyone deserves an afterlife. Everyone, without acception. I don't think you deserve to have your soul cast into a fire for being christian (and it's a shame the same can't be said in return). While your god would gladly cast the whole human race into the fire, there's no way I could condone it or share in that bloodlust. Most people (for all their flaws) are good people and certainly wouldn't deserve the fate you condone.

I'd be reluctant to say that anyone deserved that fate.

But then again, I think  our ideas of what an afterlife is differ greatly.
Most atheists believe that the fate I believe awaits them will happen to them.  Are you saying atheists don't deserve the fate that they themselves expect (many of whom wish for it)?

I take it by your comment that the answer is no - you haven't considered that your standards may be too low.

I'm interested in your comment that everyone deserves an afterlife.  I'm pretty sure I remember you mentioning paedophiles and rapists to me, do these people deserve an afterlife?


View Postshadowhive, on 22 February 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

It comes down to this. When is mass murder not appalling? When god does it. The danger there, of course is that some people also say that when god orders it makes mass murder acceptable too. Cue all the bloodshed done in the name of god.
As I said, I'm just sharing my point.  What people choose to do in God's name is not the same as what God chooses to do.

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#527    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:14 AM

View PostSherapy, on 22 February 2013 - 05:04 PM, said:

For me, I would say it is the  reality of teething that hurts. I would not see this as "love" or lack of, I would see it as a reality that has a practical solution ( a teething ring to relieve the pain or call the dentist for suggestions.) Kids that young would not put that kind of thought into swappping one cold thing for another. IMO


I say this understanding that your understanding of love is different from mine, so this is really just another way to look at this.
What is your definition of "love", and how is it different to mine?

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#528    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:10 AM

View Posteight bits, on 22 February 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

PA



That surely is one possible explanation of your statement,
What other possible explanation could there be?  And yes, I read your other post, so I know what you think.  I can't agree.


View Posteight bits, on 22 February 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

since you have flatly assumed that what I am pointing out is meaningless.

However, does it really need to be said that I don't find that to be persuasive rebuttal?

As you will recall, you and I disagree whether, based on the text, Isaac enjoys any guarantee that he won't die then and there. Another Jewish fellow, later in the book, at least in your version of the book, dies and lives to tell about it. At least two Jewish fellows, in fact, one of whom we have no clue whether or not he later had children.

I don't see how any Bible-believing Christian could deny that it is within God's power to allow a man to be killed, and yet later that man might yet have children of his body. Even if Jesus was held to be unique in other ways, Lazarus came back, too.

In any case, Abraham wouldn't know about Lazarus or Jesus, nor has he any basis to think that God would tell him to do something God didn't want done. This same Abraham is depicted earlier as questionning God's promise, and even bargaining with God for the safety of other kin. His failure to inquire here about how God's request squares with the fulfillment of God's earlier promise, then, is unexpected within some (like yours, but not all) interpretations of the incident. His disinterest in his son's safety is also unusual in some interpretations, even when compared with his own behavior on another occasion.

I don't recall ever having addressed HavocWing's comment, not even to say whether or not I agreed with it. This would account for my not having proven it.

As my post said, my interest in the attempted murder of Isaac by his father is as an example of the topic of the thread, which is "contradictions in the Bible." I'd like to discuss the variety of ways in which those contradictions can be interpreted, without denying their presence. That you have had a discussion with another poster about some other aspect of the same incident needn't interfere with anybody else's discussion of this topical aspect of the story.
How is it a contradiction?  If Isaac was killed and was not resurrected, then God would not have kept his promise from the previous chapter of Genesis, and then we'd have a contradiction to talk about.  As is, God gave Isaac a guarantee of protection, and then administered a test to Abraham, who finally showed that he trusted God's promise.  If it's a contradiction simply because part A says this, part B says something different, and then part C brings it back to the point that part A was making while part B was just an interim test, then you have a different concept of biblical contradictions than I do.

edit: Just to add a point, I remember watching a documentary a while back about a missionary who was working with an African tribe who had never heard of the Bible before.  He was taking them through the Bible a little bit at a time.  He'd preached about Jesus, and now he was taking them through Genesis, from creation, the fall, the calling of Abraham, the birth of Isaac.  It came up to the testing of Abraham.  Interviews with the tribe had them predicting what might happen next.  They said "well, God promised that Isaac would live, so will he be killed and then resurrected like Jesus"?  I found it interesting that people with all the trappings of the Western world see a contradiction, whereas tribal Africans with very little contact with the outside world could so quickly grasp that Isaac wasn't in danger of dying and that Abraham was confident that Isaac would survive (whether he thought Isaac would be resurrected, who knows - Hebrews 11 certainly argues so, but the text in Genesis doesn't cover it).

~ PA

Edited by Paranoid Android, 23 February 2013 - 08:16 AM.

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#529    eight bits

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:30 AM

PA

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How is it a contradiction? If Isaac was killed and was not resurrected, then God would not have kept his promise from the previous chapter of Genesis, ...


We are in agreement that God made a promise in the earlier chapter. In this chapter, God tells Abraham to kill the subject of that promise and to destroy the corpse. That is a contradiction. Duh. To say that something is a contradiction is not to deny that there "could be" some resolution, but rather to assert that nothing in the text explains how both could be true, despite the reasonable appearance that at most one can be true.

Encountering a contradiction as we read along leads us to expect somebody to ask "How can that be, in light of...?" Maybe somebody does ask, and gets an answer, and then we understand how things are despite the contradiction in the earlier explanation. The contradiction itself never goes away, and being a contradiction, doesn't itself explain how things actually are.

If we reach the end of the story and nobody does ask, then we as readers may seek resolution(s) on our own. If we need to supplement what's in the text, then we say that there is a contradiction which was unresolved in the text, whether or not we are satisfied that our own resolution of it "could be" the way it was.

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  ... and then we'd have a contradiction to talk about.  

Why don't we talk about the contradiction we already have in the actual text before us? Abraham doesn't ask, so it's on us as readers to work out some resolution. Hebrews 11: 19 doesn't "argue" anything. It states as a fact that Abraham reasoned "that God was able to raise even from the dead." Even assuming that that would be a justification for murder (the idea doesn't seem to carry much weight in Acts when blame for Jesus' brief brush with death is being assigned), Abraham reasoning that way does not explain Abraham's not asking.

Abraham doesn't ask, despite a history of questionning and bargaining with God while displaying concern for his kin, including the son whom Abraham abandoned on God's say-so. Abraham has also experienced God changing his mind.

God was going to wipe out Sodom, then he decided he wouldn't if enough good people lived there, then he decided he'd just evacuate the good people and wipe the place out anyway, but then he killed one of the good people during the evacuation, finding a way to blame her that things turned out differently than he had said to induce her to leave. That way was a staple of folk tales, as it happens, except that in this tale, God knows she will glance back and that he will kill her after he has dangled before her what he knows is the false hope of rescue.

Given that God does change his mind, and that Abraham's knowledge about God is limited to natural observation and  what the voice in his head tells him (so, he doesn't get to skip ahead in the book and see that in 1 Kings 17: 17 ff. that God will grant revival to a descendant of his), Abraham has no way to reason as to which expression of God's will is a truthful exposition of God's current intention at the time God condemns Isaac to death and cremation.

There is, in any case, no Biblical instance of any dead person being restored to life after the destruction of his or her corpse. That is reserved for the end of days, and still perplexes Paul millennia after Abraham. So, even if Abraham had skipped ahead, his instructions were still such as to invite questions, even if he knew about resurrections, which he wouldn't have.

Unrealistic and exceptional behavior is typical of folk tales and legends whose purpose is to explain something about the society which tells the story. This tale, of course, is often cited in connection with the peculiarly Hebrew avoidance of human sacrifice, in contrast with their neighbors. I believe it appears here because the post-exilic editors of Genesis collected various Tales of Abraham, from several sources. There is no particular reason for the editors to have "recomciled" the different tales if they viewed some of them as parables.

Since Hebrews 11: 19 has come up

It is a curious bit of text, isn't it? It recites, with no textual foundation whatsoever, as if it were an accomplished fact, that the founder of what became the Jewish nation believed in bodily resurrection. But we know that that was not a belief of all Jews living at the time this document was written. Pharisees did, and Paul imported his inflection of the Pharisees' doctrine into Christianity, but the whole matter was controversial among Jews.

Personally, I am reluctant to pursue contradictions across the intertestamentary boundary, except for outright miscitations of earlier writings. A typical rejoinder is that God told the author of Hebrews something privately, and that is uninteresting, irrebuttable and undiscussable. Nevertheless, this is a contradiction between the two texts, unless it were relaxed from a fact claim about what's in the earlier text to a purely personal interpretation by the later unknown author of what he had read.

Edited by eight bits, 23 February 2013 - 08:35 AM.

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#530    shadowhive

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:51 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 23 February 2013 - 03:12 AM, said:

Then you obviously don't understand it!

On the one hand it is 'god breathed' and has to be followed to the letter. On the other hand, with stuff lie that you can use the ecuse of it being context senistive, shift the authorship solely to the human writer and then ignore it. Any mistaes made you blame on the human writer, despite god supposedly having control like a puppet master over the entire the thing.

Quote

What we have for breakfast is hardly a major decision.  But let's say you have the choice of having cereal and toast for breakfast, or you could go to a gourmet cafe and order sausages, bacon, eggs, wedges, and set yourself back $15.  If that $15 is simply for indulgence and you never given anything else to God, then it's a sin.  If you consider God when you have that breakfast and you can afford such a breakfast and still give to God what belongs to God, then it's ok.  It's a personal thing between the individual and God.  I can't judge whether someone else is using their money correctly, only God can.

See, you can turn anything into a sin. even something as simple as breakfast becomes sinful if you want it to be.

The point I was making is no, there are many 'non-major' decisions. We make dozens every day. By asserting that god should be considered in every decision, regardless of how minor and by turning even the minor thing into a sin at the drop of the hat... it just sounds, well, crazy. When you can't even have something as simple as breakfast without god labelling the action a sin it's just absurd. How can anyone be expected to live their live like that?

Quote

It's the seriousness of sin.  Though I've said this several times already, so there really is no point in going over it again.

No, it's the pure insanity of sin. Seriously, think about how it sounds. God is an entity that thinks lying is as serious as murder and you don't see anything wrong with that?

Quote

Most atheists believe that the fate I believe awaits them will happen to them.  Are you saying atheists don't deserve the fate that they themselves expect (many of whom wish for it)?

I take it by your comment that the answer is no - you haven't considered that your standards may be too low.

I'm interested in your comment that everyone deserves an afterlife.  I'm pretty sure I remember you mentioning paedophiles and rapists to me, do these people deserve an afterlife?

To the first part, the problem is that it's not just athiests thaat get thrown into the fire, but ALL non-christians. Religious and non-religious alike. And a fair few of them wil have some belief in an afterlife. Are you saying those people don't deserve the fate they expect and should be trreated like trash by your selfish god?

I don't think my standards are low. I think every human deserves an afterlife You think an elite 'chosen' few deserve it and the rest deserve spiritual genocide. Now looking at those two options, I know which sounds the better option.

Here on earth we have this thing. It's known as the justice system. Now when a person does something wrong, there is a sliding scale of punishment to reflect the serious of the crime. Usually it's a fine or a set length of time in jail. There is not one a one size fits all punishment that covers anything. Indeed, if the justice system works that every crime was life in prisonment (or conversely that every crime was a £50 fine) there would be absolutely no form of justice.

Now do criminals deserve punishment? Absolutely. but the punishment should fit the crime and i don't think there's anything that could warrant either being tortured for eternity in hell or having their souls destroyed. So yes, I think even those people deserve some sort of afterlife (even if it did include some form of punishment lasting x amount of time). But I'm not comfortable with the idea that anyone could be destroyed completely.

Quote

As I said, I'm just sharing my point.  What people choose to do in God's name is not the same as what God chooses to do.

~ Regards, PA

It sounds similar enough to me.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
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#531    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 11:51 AM, said:

On the one hand it is 'god breathed' and has to be followed to the letter. On the other hand, with stuff lie that you can use the ecuse of it being context senistive, shift the authorship solely to the human writer and then ignore it. Any mistaes made you blame on the human writer, despite god supposedly having control like a puppet master over the entire the thing.
But nothing written is "wrong" or a "mistake".  Dual authorship isn't a get-out clause to say that where it is right it is God and where it is wrong it is man.  It is God's word breathed out to all people for all time, while simultaneously being a letter written by human beings at specific times for specific purposes. And I see no reason why a human would not use gender-specific language for a gender-specific issue just because it was corrupted by humans centuries after it was written.

But at least your answer this time is a step-up from it meaning "pretty much anything I want".


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 11:51 AM, said:

See, you can turn anything into a sin. even something as simple as breakfast becomes sinful if you want it to be.

The point I was making is no, there are many 'non-major' decisions. We make dozens every day. By asserting that god should be considered in every decision, regardless of how minor and by turning even the minor thing into a sin at the drop of the hat... it just sounds, well, crazy. When you can't even have something as simple as breakfast without god labelling the action a sin it's just absurd. How can anyone be expected to live their live like that?
Anything done without the glorification of God at the forefront of your mind is a sin.  "Sin" literally means "to miss the mark", in the sense that an archer misses the target.  Our life is one that should (biblically speaking) be dedicated to God.  Every time we stray from that we "miss the mark".  Eating breakfast therefore, if not done with the heart in the right place (focused on God) is missing the mark.  Eating breakfast in and of itself is not a sin, only God can decide.

This is not palatable to you because you don't like the idea of submitting to God.  It's your life and you want to be in control of it.  I get that.  You have the Right to feel and act in whatever way you wish.  All I'm doing is pointing out that for a Christian their life should be one dedicated to God, and when we do not do things with the intention of glorifying God then we miss the mark (sin).


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 11:51 AM, said:

To the first part, the problem is that it's not just athiests thaat get thrown into the fire, but ALL non-christians. Religious and non-religious alike. And a fair few of them wil have some belief in an afterlife. Are you saying those people don't deserve the fate they expect and should be trreated like trash by your selfish god?

I don't think my standards are low. I think every human deserves an afterlife You think an elite 'chosen' few deserve it and the rest deserve spiritual genocide. Now looking at those two options, I know which sounds the better option.

Here on earth we have this thing. It's known as the justice system. Now when a person does something wrong, there is a sliding scale of punishment to reflect the serious of the crime. Usually it's a fine or a set length of time in jail. There is not one a one size fits all punishment that covers anything. Indeed, if the justice system works that every crime was life in prisonment (or conversely that every crime was a £50 fine) there would be absolutely no form of justice.

Now do criminals deserve punishment? Absolutely. but the punishment should fit the crime and i don't think there's anything that could warrant either being tortured for eternity in hell or having their souls destroyed. So yes, I think even those people deserve some sort of afterlife (even if it did include some form of punishment lasting x amount of time). But I'm not comfortable with the idea that anyone could be destroyed completely.
Think about what you're saying in the first part - you said that most people "don't deserve the fate" I believe awaits them.  You have then extended this to even the worst people in society.  That in itself is not wrong.  But you lump atheists into that by saying that they "don't deserve the fate" that they themselves wish for?  Why do you decide that the fate they expect (and many of them WANT - there was a thread recently aimed at atheists and asking them if they want an afterlife, and many said "no, this life being finite is what makes it so special") is not something even they deserve?

So by your previous two posts between us, would I be right in saying that you haven't thought about whether your standards are too low?  You haven't answered either way to that point.  You've tried to justify why you believe your standards aren't low, but you haven't yet said whether you've considered whether they may be too low.

On a final note, I'd just say that human justice works on a physical scale based on the harm it causes to others.  God's justice system works on a fixed scale based on the harm it causes the relationship between man and God.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 11:51 AM, said:

It sounds similar enough to me.
And not to me.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 23 February 2013 - 12:49 PM.

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#532    shadowhive

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 23 February 2013 - 12:39 PM, said:

But nothing written is "wrong" or a "mistake".  Dual authorship isn't a get-out clause to say that where it is right it is God and where it is wrong it is man.  It is God's word breathed out to all people for all time, while simultaneously being a letter written by human beings at specific times for specific purposes. And I see no reason why a human would not use gender-specific language for a gender-specific issue just because it was corrupted by humans centuries after it was written.

But at least your answer this time is a step-up from it meaning "pretty much anything I want".

There's a contradiction right there. 'It's for all people and all time, accept that bit that's for a specific people at a specific time'.

It still just sounds like making parts mean whatever you want and picking and choosing. Which is what every religious person seems to do. The only difference is you only do it if you can find a context based reason for it.

The main problem i have is that the men writing would not know it'd be corrupted... but god would and he didn't seem to think using that foresight would be particularly important, despite the impact it made.

Quote

Anything done without the glorification of God at the forefront of your mind is a sin.  "Sin" literally means "to miss the mark", in the sense that an archer misses the target.  Our life is one that should (biblically speaking) be dedicated to God.  Every time we stray from that we "miss the mark".  Eating breakfast therefore, if not done with the heart in the right place (focused on God) is missing the mark.  Eating breakfast in and of itself is not a sin, only God can decide.

This is not palatable to you because you don't like the idea of submitting to God.  It's your life and you want to be in control of it.  I get that.  You have the Right to feel and act in whatever way you wish.  All I'm doing is pointing out that for a Christian their life should be one dedicated to God, and when we do not do things with the intention of glorifying God then we miss the mark (sin).

It's not palatable to me because it sounds like god wants us to be mindless drones, serving him all the time with no thought to ourselves and others unless it suits him. And even then he can use any thought for ourselves as an ecuse to damn us.

Yes it's my life and I have control of it. i'm glad of that and I will not be intimidated by your god into giving my life away.

It all souunds absurd. The more you say it, the more absurd it becomes.

Quote

Think about what you're saying in the first part - you said that most people "don't deserve the fate" I believe awaits them.  You have then extended this to even the worst people in society.  That in itself is not wrong.  But you lump atheists into that by saying that they "don't deserve the fate" that they themselves wish for?  Why do you decide that the fate they expect (and many of them WANT - there was a thread recently aimed at atheists and asking them if they want an afterlife, and many said "no, this life being finite is what makes it so special") is not something even they deserve?

So by your previous two posts between us, would I be right in saying that you haven't thought about whether your standards are too low?  You haven't answered either way to that point.  You've tried to justify why you believe your standards aren't low, but you haven't yet said whether you've considered whether they may be too low.

On a final note, I'd just say that human justice works on a physical scale based on the harm it causes to others.  God's justice system works on a fixed scale based on the harm it causes the relationship between man and God.

Well let's put the shoe on the other foot shall we. The people that are non-christian that believe in the afterlife are condemned outright in your version. Why do you decide that the fate they expect is not something they deserve?

I 'lump atheists' in by saying that everyone deserves an afterlife. Well atheists are people too. (I know that's a tricky concept, what with your belief condemning all atheists outright.) Do all atheists wish for a permenant end? Well, unlike christians they don't all follow the same belief. There is no central atheist dogma they all follow. So while one atheist might say 'yes I'd want death to be the end' another might want an afterlife. Should all atheists have a permenant death just because some do?

No, I don't think it's too low. I thought i made that clear but apparently I did not. i don't think my standards are too low. I think that everyione should be entitled to an afterlife, regardless of spiritual belief. Anything less just seems wrong. That may be difficult to understand because you think the afterlife should be this excusive christians-only zone.

The fixed scale is absurd of course. Mostly because god seems unhealthy obsessed with what man does in the first place, almost pathologically so and seems to take a strong offense with anything.

Quote

And not to me.

Of course.

The problem of course, is that people who blow themselves up or murder others think they're doing it because god deems it necessary. The same excuse that you give for god committing genocide.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
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#533    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:17 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

There's a contradiction right there. 'It's for all people and all time, accept that bit that's for a specific people at a specific time'.

It still just sounds like making parts mean whatever you want and picking and choosing. Which is what every religious person seems to do. The only difference is you only do it if you can find a context based reason for it.

The main problem i have is that the men writing would not know it'd be corrupted... but god would and he didn't seem to think using that foresight would be particularly important, despite the impact it made.
And so because God knew it would be corrupted he should ignore the fact that it was written for a specific purpose at a specific time?  I don't agree.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

It's not palatable to me because it sounds like god wants us to be mindless drones, serving him all the time with no thought to ourselves and others unless it suits him. And even then he can use any thought for ourselves as an ecuse to damn us.

Yes it's my life and I have control of it. i'm glad of that and I will not be intimidated by your god into giving my life away.

It all souunds absurd. The more you say it, the more absurd it becomes.
God wants us to glorify him, that's what we were created for.  But if you want to follow something different, God isn't forcing you.  You're free to believe as you wish.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

Well let's put the shoe on the other foot shall we. The people that are non-christian that believe in the afterlife are condemned outright in your version. Why do you decide that the fate they expect is not something they deserve?
So we're not so different in our outlook after all, eh.  We both believe certain fates await people after they die, whether that is what they want to happen or not.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

I 'lump atheists' in by saying that everyone deserves an afterlife. Well atheists are people too. (I know that's a tricky concept, what with your belief condemning all atheists outright.) Do all atheists wish for a permenant end? Well, unlike christians they don't all follow the same belief. There is no central atheist dogma they all follow. So while one atheist might say 'yes I'd want death to be the end' another might want an afterlife. Should all atheists have a permenant death just because some do?

No, I don't think it's too low. I thought i made that clear but apparently I did not. i don't think my standards are too low. I think that everyione should be entitled to an afterlife, regardless of spiritual belief. Anything less just seems wrong. That may be difficult to understand because you think the afterlife should be this excusive christians-only zone.

The fixed scale is absurd of course. Mostly because god seems unhealthy obsessed with what man does in the first place, almost pathologically so and seems to take a strong offense with anything.
I didn't ask if you thought your standards were too low.  I asked if you have ever considered that they might be.  Why is it so hard to get a straight answer?  When you asked me if I had considered whether my standards were too high, I gave you a direct answer - yes, I have.  You aren't willing to do the same.  Instead you're trying to justify why you feel that they aren't too low.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

Of course.

The problem of course, is that people who blow themselves up or murder others think they're doing it because god deems it necessary. The same excuse that you give for god committing genocide.
Except the people who blow themselves up or murder others aren't God, they don't have that excuse.  Which brings us back full circle.

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#534    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

View Posteight bits, on 23 February 2013 - 08:30 AM, said:

PA

We are in agreement that God made a promise in the earlier chapter. In this chapter, God tells Abraham to kill the subject of that promise and to destroy the corpse. That is a contradiction. Duh. To say that something is a contradiction is not to deny that there "could be" some resolution, but rather to assert that nothing in the text explains how both could be true, despite the reasonable appearance that at most one can be true.

Encountering a contradiction as we read along leads us to expect somebody to ask "How can that be, in light of...?" Maybe somebody does ask, and gets an answer, and then we understand how things are despite the contradiction in the earlier explanation. The contradiction itself never goes away, and being a contradiction, doesn't itself explain how things actually are.

If we reach the end of the story and nobody does ask, then we as readers may seek resolution(s) on our own. If we need to supplement what's in the text, then we say that there is a contradiction which was unresolved in the text, whether or not we are satisfied that our own resolution of it "could be" the way it was.
We have different definitions of what a "biblical contradiction" is then.  Using the term as you are, then I guess there are contradictions in the Bible that I would agree with.  However, these contradictions are explainable and are internally consistent as opposed to divergent.  The traditional concept of a Bible contradiction is more along the lines of Text A says "....", Text B says "....something opposing...", therefore the Bible can't be infallible because it's internally inconsistent.  


View Posteight bits, on 23 February 2013 - 08:30 AM, said:

Why don't we talk about the contradiction we already have in the actual text before us? Abraham doesn't ask, so it's on us as readers to work out some resolution. Hebrews 11: 19 doesn't "argue" anything. It states as a fact that Abraham reasoned "that God was able to raise even from the dead." Even assuming that that would be a justification for murder (the idea doesn't seem to carry much weight in Acts when blame for Jesus' brief brush with death is being assigned), Abraham reasoning that way does not explain Abraham's not asking.

Abraham doesn't ask, despite a history of questionning and bargaining with God while displaying concern for his kin, including the son whom Abraham abandoned on God's say-so. Abraham has also experienced God changing his mind.

God was going to wipe out Sodom, then he decided he wouldn't if enough good people lived there, then he decided he'd just evacuate the good people and wipe the place out anyway, but then he killed one of the good people during the evacuation, finding a way to blame her that things turned out differently than he had said to induce her to leave. That way was a staple of folk tales, as it happens, except that in this tale, God knows she will glance back and that he will kill her after he has dangled before her what he knows is the false hope of rescue.

Given that God does change his mind, and that Abraham's knowledge about God is limited to natural observation and  what the voice in his head tells him (so, he doesn't get to skip ahead in the book and see that in 1 Kings 17: 17 ff. that God will grant revival to a descendant of his), Abraham has no way to reason as to which expression of God's will is a truthful exposition of God's current intention at the time God condemns Isaac to death and cremation.

There is, in any case, no Biblical instance of any dead person being restored to life after the destruction of his or her corpse. That is reserved for the end of days, and still perplexes Paul millennia after Abraham. So, even if Abraham had skipped ahead, his instructions were still such as to invite questions, even if he knew about resurrections, which he wouldn't have.

Unrealistic and exceptional behavior is typical of folk tales and legends whose purpose is to explain something about the society which tells the story. This tale, of course, is often cited in connection with the peculiarly Hebrew avoidance of human sacrifice, in contrast with their neighbors. I believe it appears here because the post-exilic editors of Genesis collected various Tales of Abraham, from several sources. There is no particular reason for the editors to have "recomciled" the different tales if they viewed some of them as parables.
Abraham definitely had a history of questioning God.  Up until this point in the narrative the only thing it appears Abraham actually did without question was get up and leave his land at the start of Genesis 12.  He travelled to several areas that God promised he would be kept safe, and instead he lied about his relationship with Sarai in order to save his neck.  He was then promised a child by Sarai, but since she was elderly and barren, he tried to help God out a little by siring a child through his maidservant, Hagar.  Then God kept his promise and Isaac was born via the elderly and barren Sarai.  This is probably the watershed event that changes Abraham from a questioner into a man of unquestioning faith.  It would be God's greatest miracle in Abraham's life, an absolute impossibility that came true.  So when God promises Abraham that Isaac will grow up to be the one through whom Abraham's lineage is reckoned, it could be argued that finally Abraham had the faith enough to fully trust that promise.  To cement that faith, God tests Abraham through the apparent sacrifice of Isaac.  Thus throughout the entire journey towards the sacrifice, Abraham keeps telling Isaac "God will provide the sacrifice".  Was he lying to Isaac to pacify him?  Or was he confident that God would provide a way out?

I argue the latter - this was Abraham's second true step of faith.  His first (as mentioned) was leaving his land when God called him.  Everything else has been questioned and doubted by Abraham, until the miraculous baby that Abraham would never have expected to come true.  Suddenly he knew he could have true faith in God, and so was confident that God would not let Isaac die (or at the least would provide resurrection upon his death).


View Posteight bits, on 23 February 2013 - 08:30 AM, said:

Since Hebrews 11: 19 has come up

It is a curious bit of text, isn't it? It recites, with no textual foundation whatsoever, as if it were an accomplished fact, that the founder of what became the Jewish nation believed in bodily resurrection. But we know that that was not a belief of all Jews living at the time this document was written. Pharisees did, and Paul imported his inflection of the Pharisees' doctrine into Christianity, but the whole matter was controversial among Jews.

Personally, I am reluctant to pursue contradictions across the intertestamentary boundary, except for outright miscitations of earlier writings. A typical rejoinder is that God told the author of Hebrews something privately, and that is uninteresting, irrebuttable and undiscussable. Nevertheless, this is a contradiction between the two texts, unless it were relaxed from a fact claim about what's in the earlier text to a purely personal interpretation by the later unknown author of what he had read.
Nevertheless, if you have faith (as I do), it is just the case of accepting that 11:19 is relaying what Abraham thought the sacrifice of his son.  If there is a "contradiction" it would be here, since you could also textually argue that Abraham was not expecting a resurrection (as was noted, Abraham kept reassuring Isaac that God would provide the sacrifice).  But that may have just been a figure of speech.

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Edited by Paranoid Android, 23 February 2013 - 01:38 PM.

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#535    eight bits

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

PA

Quote

We have different definitions of what a "biblical contradiction" is then.  

Well, if it helps any, then I have only a definition of contradiction, the same definition I would apply to any text. "Biblical contradiction," to me, means nothing except a contradiction where the text containing the contradiction is within the canonical books of the Bible.

Quote

therefore the Bible can't be infallible because it's internally inconsistent.

I don't think that's the issue usually raised in connection with the Abraham-Isaac story that you and I have been discussing. I agree that there are other contradictions, and that many people, including many pious people, believe that the Bible is fallible, for a variety of reaosns. Certainly, some people point out the plainer, more factual contradictions as instances of fallibility.

I have yet to meet an educated Christian who denies variation among manuscript sources. While I hear things like "Ninety-something percent agreement" and "nothing affecting doctrine varies," still, if the text itself is less than 100 percent in agreement across sources, then, under my definition, we never have to ask whether there are any contradictions "in the Bible." There are, and they must be dealt with just in compiling the text itself.

Quote

Nevertheless, if you have faith (as I do), it is just the case of accepting that 11:19 is relaying what Abraham thought the sacrifice of his son.

While I do in general understand your argument, I don't know how to parse that sentence. If by the phrase "if you have faith (as I do)" you mean "if you believe the same things I do," then yes, that's what you believe. If, however, you meant that all persons of the Christian faith are  "accepting that 11:19 is relaying what Abraham thought the sacrifice of his son.," then I disagree.

Many Christians are concerned that theirs is a historical faith, and so anything in the New Testament is explicable in terms of human natural witness (even if what is witnessed has supernatural import - for example, Paul had a vision, but it is recorded because Paul wrote down or told somebody about the vision). That rules out a supernatural "relaying what Abraham thought," but not other interpretations.

And, of course, returning to my earlier post, there is nothing in the canon that denies God the prerogative to inspire stories that convey a message, rather than recite facts. A Nicene Christian can believe that Abraham's assault, battery and wrongful confinement of Isaac never actually happened. Of course, that, too, would rule out anybody telling "what Abraham thought" in a factual sense, but God would have the prerogative to inspire talking points in an epistulary sermon, too.

Finally, it does seem surpassing odd that God would withhold the information that Abraham believed in bodily resurrection, when that issue would be so important in Jewish-Christian relations. In contrast, it doesn't seem at all odd that an early Christian author might say that Abraham did. That would be human; Hebrews would be more like a historical source document, as befits a historical religion. I know, that isn't what every Nicene Christian wants.

Edited by eight bits, 23 February 2013 - 02:51 PM.

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

View Posteight bits, on 23 February 2013 - 02:44 PM, said:

Well, if it helps any, then I have only a definition of contradiction, the same definition I would apply to any text. "Biblical contradiction," to me, means nothing except a contradiction where the text containing the contradiction is within the canonical books of the Bible.
Most people who refer to a "biblical contradiction" consider it more an "irreconcilable contradiction".  While I agree with you on your literal definition, in practice I have found most who refer to biblical contradictions have not got in mind the type of question that can be answered in an internally consistent manner.  That's just my observations, though, and may not necessarily refer to you specifically.


View Posteight bits, on 23 February 2013 - 02:44 PM, said:

I don't think that's the issue usually raised in connection with the Abraham-Isaac story that you and I have been discussing. I agree that there are other contradictions, and that many people, including many pious people, believe that the Bible is fallible, for a variety of reaosns. Certainly, some people point out the plainer, more factual contradictions as instances of fallibility.

I have yet to meet an educated Christian who denies variation among manuscript sources. While I hear things like "Ninety-something percent agreement" and "nothing affecting doctrine varies," still, if the text itself is less than 100 percent in agreement across sources, then, under my definition, we never have to ask whether there are any contradictions "in the Bible." There are, and they must be dealt with just in compiling the text itself.
The issue of Abraham sacrificing Isaac is often brought up as a contradictory commentary on God as a God of Love.  The current discussion with HavocWing is revolving pretty much around that topic, that God's command to sacrifice Isaac neutralises claims of love.

And sure, I agree with you about the variations in manuscripts.  You've pre-empted my responses about "ninety-something percent agreement" and "nothing affecting doctrines".... but I suppose this goes back to my earlier comment about contradiction - the literal definition of the word may be accurate, but in terms of what people speak of when they refer to biblical contradictions it is more along the lines of "irreconcilable contradictions".


View Posteight bits, on 23 February 2013 - 02:44 PM, said:

While I do in general understand your argument, I don't know how to parse that sentence. If by the phrase "if you have faith (as I do)" you mean "if you believe the same things I do," then yes, that's what you believe. If, however, you meant that all persons of the Christian faith are  "accepting that 11:19 is relaying what Abraham thought the sacrifice of his son.," then I disagree.

Many Christians are concerned that theirs is a historical faith, and so anything in the New Testament is explicable in terms of human natural witness (even if what is witnessed has supernatural import - for example, Paul had a vision, but it is recorded because Paul wrote down or told somebody about the vision). That rules out a supernatural "relaying what Abraham thought," but not other interpretations.

And, of course, returning to my earlier post, there is nothing in the canon that denies God the prerogative to inspire stories that convey a message, rather than recite facts. A Nicene Christian can believe that Abraham's assault, battery and wrongful confinement of Isaac never actually happened. Of course, that, too, would rule out anybody telling "what Abraham thought" in a factual sense, but God would have the prerogative to inspire talking points in an epistulary sermon, too.

Finally, it does seem surpassing odd that God would withhold the information that Abraham believed in bodily resurrection, when that issue would be so important in Jewish-Christian relations. In contrast, it doesn't seem at all odd that an early Christian author might say that Abraham did. That would be human; Hebrews would be more like a historical source document, as befits a historical religion. I know, that isn't what every Nicene Christian wants.
First, I suppose I was referring to my own personal point of view on this.  And to cover myself here, I would also add that while I tend to lean towards Abraham expecting a resurrection, it is not something I would dogmatically hold to if I were pressed.  Though it is what I believe, I am open to alternatives, the text could be seen as a commentary on the action/s of various Old Testament figures, with the focus on the "faith" element rather than the specifics.

That said, I cannot see textual reason for considering the story of Abraham to be allegory/parable.  Stylistically it is written as an historical narrative, so whether Abraham was real or not, the author intended to convey it as historical fact (as opposed to other parts of Genesis [chapters 1-11] which are not written in similar style).  I can understand why people would consider Genesis as allegory, but textually speaking I cannot do that.  I therefore accept that the story of Abraham (and by association, Isaac) was a real historical event.  It's a faith thing :ph34r:

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#537    shadowhive

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 23 February 2013 - 01:17 PM, said:

And so because God knew it would be corrupted he should ignore the fact that it was written for a specific purpose at a specific time?  I don't agree.

So instead of removing that corruption, he leaves it in, without a care that it would abused for well over a thousand years? Yeah, that's the right response.

Quote

God wants us to glorify him, that's what we were created for.  But if you want to follow something different, God isn't forcing you.  You're free to believe as you wish.

That excuse made sense in more ancient times, you know where people thought the world was flat, thought the word was purpose made for us and thought we were the center of the universe. unfortunately for you, that ecuse doesn't really work. There's no evidence that god created us directly... aprt from religious text. In which case every religion says god x created us for that purpose.

Quote

So we're not so different in our outlook after all, eh.  We both believe certain fates await people after they die, whether that is what they want to happen or not.

Oh we're extremely different there. I'm not an advocate of the cold hearted belief that most of the human race is condemned. Yet, strangely, I'm the bad guy.

Quote

I didn't ask if you thought your standards were too low.  I asked if you have ever considered that they might be.  Why is it so hard to get a straight answer?  When you asked me if I had considered whether my standards were too high, I gave you a direct answer - yes, I have.  You aren't willing to do the same.  Instead you're trying to justify why you feel that they aren't too low.

I considered once yes. It was a brief thought though. Nothing else seems fair. If you start saying 'well a person that did x doesn't deserve an afterlife' where does it end? It ends up snowballing (much like your belief, where everyone that's non-christian is denied an afterlife whithout a thought and half the christians probbly are too).

Quote

Except the people who blow themselves up or murder others aren't God, they don't have that excuse.  Which brings us back full circle.

How many people in the bible do things because god says so? How many went on killing sprees because god says so? Why excuse those peopl, after all, they're not god either are they?

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
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#538    Paranoid Android

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

So instead of removing that corruption, he leaves it in, without a care that it would abused for well over a thousand years? Yeah, that's the right response.
Why would God remove the context of the author from a text written with a specific context in mind?  As I said, I don't agree with you.  That's really all there is to it.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

That excuse made sense in more ancient times, you know where people thought the world was flat, thought the word was purpose made for us and thought we were the center of the universe. unfortunately for you, that ecuse doesn't really work. There's no evidence that god created us directly... aprt from religious text. In which case every religion says god x created us for that purpose.
I'm just sharing my beliefs here.  I'm not demanding you agree.


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

Oh we're extremely different there. I'm not an advocate of the cold hearted belief that most of the human race is condemned. Yet, strangely, I'm the bad guy.
When did I say you were the bad guy?


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

I considered once yes. It was a brief thought though. Nothing else seems fair. If you start saying 'well a person that did x doesn't deserve an afterlife' where does it end? It ends up snowballing (much like your belief, where everyone that's non-christian is denied an afterlife whithout a thought and half the christians probbly are too).
Ok, thank you for answering straight.  At least you've considered it :tu:


View Postshadowhive, on 23 February 2013 - 03:59 PM, said:

How many people in the bible do things because god says so? How many went on killing sprees because god says so? Why excuse those peopl, after all, they're not god either are they?
Because they had direct contact with God (as opposed to those in more modern times who simply claim to speak on behalf of God).  That makes the situation different.  And yes, I realise there's a faith-based assumption here - that the people in the Bible did speak to God, as opposed to making up a story that they did to justify their action.  All I can say to that is that I trust the authors and people weren't lying.

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#539    shadowhive

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 23 February 2013 - 04:13 PM, said:

Why would God remove the context of the author from a text written with a specific context in mind?  As I said, I don't agree with you.  That's really all there is to it.

Of course you don't.

I just don't get how it makes sense for god to leave something that becomes a huge problem in. In the end the problem it made is much bigger than the problem it solved.

Quote

I'm just sharing my beliefs here.  I'm not demanding you agree.

Hmm.

Quote

When did I say you were the bad guy?

It was implied, especially by how critical you were being.

Quote

Ok, thank you for answering straight.  At least you've considered it :tu:

Like I said, it was only and I came to the best conclusion. Can you really say the same?

An speaking of considering things: Have you considered that the reason the god/man relation breaks so easily is because god simply doesn't want a relationship with us?

Quote

Because they had direct contact with God (as opposed to those in more modern times who simply claim to speak on behalf of God).  That makes the situation different.  And yes, I realise there's a faith-based assumption here - that the people in the Bible did speak to God, as opposed to making up a story that they did to justify their action.  All I can say to that is that I trust the authors and people weren't lying.

~ PA

I was going to address the obvious problem there, but it seems you already did. It seems it all comes down to faith, which is enough to exciuse anything regardless of how terrible it may be.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 23 February 2013 - 01:17 PM, said:

God wants us to glorify him, that's what we were created for.  But if you want to follow something different, God isn't forcing you.  You're free to believe as you wish.

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